Brian Speier, an international business expert with a wealth of corporate management experience, is an internal auditor with AVANGRID, Inc., a company based out of Portland, Maine. As an internal auditor, Brian is charged with a broad scope of responsibilities that leverage his unique analytical abilities along with his extensive expertise in risk management and finance, among countless other areas of professional specialization. Focusing on operational and financial audits in his position with AVANGRID, Inc., Brian is remarkably adept at distilling complex information while providing value-added feedback.
A travel enthusiast who has benefited from years of experience living and working abroad, Brian relocated to Portland, Maine, after spending four years as the academic director of ELS Educational Services, a language and instruction program located in Seoul, Korea. Brian was responsible for the development of several innovative language and instruction programs and oversaw substantial growth during his time as the academic director of the largest program of its kind in all of Korea. Brian has also taken advantage of similar professional opportunities that enabled him to travel to Mexico, China, and the Czech Republic.
Brian’s international experiences were borne out of a study-abroad program made available to him through his studies at the University of California, Riverside, where he earned a degree in business administration and was clearly influenced by the opportunity to study abroad in Monterey, Mexico. The internal auditor also went on to earn an MBA in global finance after securing a scholarship to attend the Thunderbird School of Global Management, thereby creating the solid foundation for the exceptional professional career he has since gone on to enjoy.
1.How did you get started in this business? What inspired you to start this business?
After obtaining my Certificate in Internal Audit, I saw an opportunity to leverage my unique experiences — both academically and professionally — in the role in which I now serve at AVANGRID, Inc.
2. How do you make money?
My principal focus is on providing value-added feedback by reviewing our internal processes, procedures, and information through financial and operational audits.
3. When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted your success? If so, how did you handle that?
There is always a risk associated with starting out in any new undertaking, but I’ve always felt confident in the research I’ve conducted before pursuing any opportunities or challenges in earnest.
4. How did you get your first customer?
At ELS Services, I was fortunate to step in to my leadership role with an already established international organization. Now of course, my role involves a more internal focus, so my clients are essentially colleagues who already understand the inherent value of my many different responsibilities.
5. What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’ve used that works really well to generate new business?
Making solid commitments to diversifying your services or products in keeping with the growing interest of consumers, for example, alternative energy resources and green initiatives in the utilities industry.
6. What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
It is tough to decide how to properly distill all the information and analyses I’ve gathered through various internal audits, especially when there is competing deadlines and multiple clients.
7. What do you think it is that makes you successful?
I’m naturally analytical and uniquely passionate about the kinds of details that are so frequently overlooked for one reason or another.
8. What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
It has been immensely satisfying to succeed in very different professional roles while living and working all over the world, including in places like Korea, China, the Czech Republic, Mexico, and both coasts in America.
9. What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
I’m most excited about our company’s future in exploring the endless possibilities associated with alternative energy sources such as off-shore windfarms.
10. What business books have inspired you?
“The Culture Map” and “International Business Ethics” both proved to be more than helpful during a professional career that has already spanned so many international borders.
11. What is a recent purchase you have made that’s helped with your business?
I am currently pursuing my certificate in managerial accounting so studying for that has taken up a lot of resources. I’m also a firm believer in the connection between endurance training and professional productivity, which is another reason why I’m excited about my new pair of trail-running shoes.
12. Do you believe aspiring entrepreneurs would benefit from extended international travel experiences?
Everyone, especially aspiring entrepreneurs would absolutely benefit from traveling abroad for any period of time, and I truly believe the potential outcomes associated with living and working abroad are almost limitlessly positive.